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FEBS Lett. 2004 May 21;566(1-3):43-7.

The steroid receptor RNA activator is the first functional RNA encoding a protein.

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Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, P309 Pathology Building, 770 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0W3.


The steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA) has previously been characterized as belonging to the growing family of functional non-coding RNAs. However, we recently reported the Western blot detection of a putative endogenous SRA protein (SRAP) in breast cancer cells. Herein, we successfully suppressed the expression of this protein through specific RNA interference assay, unequivocally confirming its existence. Moreover, using database searches and Western blot analysis, we also showed that SRAP is highly conserved among chordata. Overall, our results suggest that SRA is the first example of a new class of functional RNAs also able to encode a protein.

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